Too Good to Go Prevents Food Waste by Selling Surplus Food as “Surprise Bags”

by Marissa Sheldon, MPH
Too Good to Go

Part of the Food Policy Community Spotlight Series

Name: Too Good to Go

What They Do: Too Good to Go is a mobile app that allows users to purchase surplus food from local food-selling businesses. Partnering businesses, including grocery stores, bakeries, and restaurants, create “Surprise Bags” of unsold food at the end of the day that app users can then purchase at a discounted rate and pick up from the business. 

How They Do It: Users can download the app at no cost on a mobile device and use it to search for available Surprise Bags in their area. The exact contents of the bags are not disclosed, but the app provides examples of what foods or dishes might be included, and users can also see the total retail value of the food they are purchasing. Users pay, on average, one-third of the retail price and the transaction is completed entirely through the app. Consumers are instructed to pick up their purchase at the retail location during the pickup window designated by the store, and, upon arrival, they show the store their digital receipt to receive their Surprise Bag. 

Businesses can sign up to join the app at no cost. Once they start selling food through the app, Too Good to Go will deduct an annual fee and a flat fee for each Surprise Bag sold, and businesses will receive their payments on a quarterly basis. 

Mission: To help everyday people fight food waste in their local communities. 

Latest project/campaign: The app was launched in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2016, came to the US in 2021, and is now live in 27 cities across 15 states. In June 2024, the app will further expand to Michigan and North Carolina. 

Profit/nonprofit: Profit

Interesting fact about how they are working to positively affect the food system: In 2023, the app saved 121,686,720 meals from being wasted, and, as a result, prevented the emissions of 362,162 tons of carbon dioxide equivalents. There are currently 7.8 million users of the app worldwide. 

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Core Programs: Food rescue, food waste prevention

Number of staff: 1,000 globally (100 in the US)

Number of volunteers: N/A

Areas served: 

  • 17 countries in Europe including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, the Faroe Islands, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom
  • All of Canada
  • Almost half the US, including Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Boulder, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York (and metro area), Philadelphia, Portland (Maine and Oregon), Providence, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington DC.

Year Started: 2016

CEO: Mette Lykke

Contact Information: 


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